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[rpd] way forward on the PDWG after the Recall of the co-chairs

Owen DeLong owen at
Sun Feb 28 06:32:39 UTC 2021

> On Feb 23, 2021, at 06:27 , Gregoire EHOUMI <gregoire.ehoumi at> wrote:


> Hi,



>> On Feb 21, 2021, at 7:45 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at <mailto:owen at>> wrote:



>> Apologies for the confusion on where the prohibition of consensus was derived from. It was an honest mistake.


>> In fact, the provenance of this document is unclear to me and I am unsure as to whether it is actually authoritative or not as a result.


>> Can someone from staff please review that document and get back to this group on its provenance and level of authority over the conduct of the group?


>> If we are not bound by that document, then I will, indeed, admit that consensus (if it can be achieved) may be a valid way forward.


>> Now ,Gregoire, can you acknowledge that in a contentious environment where consensus cannot be achieved that an election, preferably one using ranked choice voting, is the best way forward?


>> Owen




> How do we measure the contention here?

Does it need to be measured? Did I say that this is such an environment? I asked abstractly about how you would proceed in such an environment regardless of whether or not one exists here at this time.

> How is this environment different from what is seen on other RIRs policy lists or at IETF?

A great deal more tolerance of and good deal more exercise of ad hominem attacks is present on this list.
This list tends to express a good bit more personal hostility than most of those lists.
This list tends to be a good deal less collegial than the other lists you mention.
There are a great many more accusations on this list without evidence.

> Disagreeing with each other should never prevent progress as there are pre-defined rules, principles and safeguard.

Agreed… We should all be able to disagree collegially and without accusations of bad faith, corruption, or malfeasance without evidence.

> How would voting help in a contentious environment?

In a contentious environment, one person, one vote and the election comes to a deterministic result no matter what. A vote will result in elected co-chairs. Consensus may never occur.

> I will rather advocate for consensus, as voting will only exacerbate things.

Please explain how a vote would exacerbate anything? In a free and transparent election, especially one using ranked-choice voting, you end up with candidate(s) who received at least some level of support from a majority of the community.

> Would you say that because of the “contentious environment” we turn the working group decision making process on proposals from rough consensus to voting? I don't think so …

Proposals don’t have the urgency that replacing co-chairs in the current situation has. There’s no need for a deterministic result on proposals and until the community can come to consensus there is no need for policies to change. The policies we have today are working well enough to continue using them. If there is an emergency, the board has powers to make emergency changes to policy.

OTOH, lacking co-chairs, we cannot even consider whether or not there is consensus around policies. Lacking co-chairs, it’s unclear to me who would be the arbiter of consensus for selecting co-chairs by consensus. Consensus is fine for policies where there is no urgency and there is an agreed upon mechanism for judging consensus.

We don’t have that with regard to selecting new co-chairs.

> If all are working in good faith and consensus can’t be reached through normal PDP consensus process on a good candidate to serve, yes, a ranked preferential voting is a good way forward as proposed here : <>


> The ranked preferential voting is an extension of the consensual approach.

> So consensus remains prevailing at all costs.

Now you are splitting proverbial hairs. If being able to claim that you are still right by calling ranked preferential voting allows you to accept that process as legitimate, then so be it.

I don’t care what you call it as long as we can find a way to move forward using a deterministic process that does not depend on subjective judgement by parties not selected by this community.


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